I have played alot of damn MMOs. They started as a black screen with white text, adventures had over a phone line, with a level of cruelty so severe that if you merely logged off in the wrong spot you would log in the next day to find a naked corpse. From there on the love affair moved to Everquest, then Final Fantasy Online, and World of Warcraft. All the while I tried, beta tested, buzzed, and blasted an innumerable slew of other games in the MMO milieu: Matrix Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Auto Assault, RF Online, Free Realms, Wizard 101, Silk Road, Aion, Rift, Anarchy Online, Star Trek Online, Warhammer Online.
Hell, I even spent a chunk of my life on The Endless Forest.
What I'm getting at is that I love MMOs and I've seen the lot of them.
I did not think I was going to give two chits about Star Wars: The Old Republic. Yeah, I really loved Mass Effect. ME1 and 2 are the two most recent games I can recall playing through from start to finish several times. I fell in love with the setting and became quite intimate with my FemShep (more on that later). The idea of a Mass Effect-y MMO in the KOTOR setting seemed too good to be true. I didn't even really care much when beta invites started going out, but I took the time on my weekend to give it a looksee.
I did not want my beta weekend to end.
I will probably elucidate on my SWTOR love in a future post, but let's just say that I'm friggin hooked on TOR. It's just really fun to play and I'm really involved in my character's story. Levelling and gear is kind of secondary to my desire to just see what happens next.
Oh! You wanted to know what was up with the whole FemShep situation... Well, I almost always play a female avatar in my MMOs. I like to have an attractive character and the female ones tend to have the more fun/attractive/silly/sexy costumes. Plus they tend to have the best hair. It was my intent originally to play a Bounty Hunter because playing a ranged tank baddie seemed neat. Yes, I said Ranged Tank. It is that awesome. After a while though I came to find the Empire side just kind of distasteful (although I hear the Imperial Agent is super awesome to play) so I switched over to the Republic match: The Trooper.
So I'm in character creation and I'm making up my lady stormtrooper and I start the first mission aaaaaaand... She's voiced by Jennifer Hale. Female Shepard. MY Shepard... So I had to make a decision to: play the rest of my known life with this game with a stranger who sounded like Alma Shepard or try to recreate Alma Shepard in the world of Star Wars or to just make a male character.
I chose the latter... And I've been enjoying my time with him thoroughly... Even if he does look like a ginger Abraham Lincoln.
EDIT: I realize at this point that some people might be interested in meeting me in-game. You can find me on the Kaiburr Crystal server, Republic side, as Virgil.